Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Scandinavian Studies BA

This degree provides the opportunity to specialise in the Danish, Norwegian or Swedish language, and to develop an in-depth appreciation of Scandinavian culture. You will have access to state-of-the-art language teaching facilities and the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the UK, and will spend a year in a Scandinavian country.

Key information

UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
5 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Foreign language preferred.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, preferably including a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Foreign Language preferred.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Foreign Language preferred.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB. Foreign Language preferred.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The opportunity to learn a Scandinavian language of which you have no prior knowledge, and to attain a near-native level of competence by the time you graduate.
  • Spend a year abroad in Scandinavia, benefiting from the department's extensive contacts with universities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
  • The Department of Scandinavian Studies at UCL is unique in the UK in having specialists across the areas of language, politics, history, medieval studies, literature and film.
  • Access to the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the country, and the state-of-the-art facilities within the Language Space.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

  • 74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Language modules are mandatory in each year, and no prior knowledge of the language chosen is required. The rest of your degree is then made up of other compulsory modules plus optional modules chosen according to your interests.

You will nominate your language (Danish, Norwegian or Swedish), and undertake cultural studies in literature, film and history as well as language-based courses such as linguistics and translation studies.

You will spend your third year studying at a university in the country where your chosen language is spoken.

You also take School of European Languages, Culture & Society (ELCS) courses, which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from outside their subject area(s), focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Compulsory modules

Basic language module in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Histories and Cultures of the Nordic Region
Introduction to Linguistics and the Scandinavian Languages
Introduction to Old Norse
Nordic Storytelling

Optional modules

You will also choose interdepartmental modules offered by the School of European Language, Culture & Society. Options may include the study of Linguistics, Film and History.

Compulsory modules

Intermediate Language module in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits of optional modules. Options may include:

Basic Modern Icelandic
Finnish Language I
Intermediate Old Norse
Introduction to Finnish Society and Culture
Nordic Cinema
Nordic Landscapes
Nordic Politics and Society
Scandinavian Literature in Context
The Nordic Welfare States
Viking-Age Scandinavia
SELCS Intermediate Level modules

Year abroad

Students currently complete any assessment required by the host university.

Students on their Year Abroad will engage in guided academic work and critical reflections so as to make the most of their cultural and linguistic immersion.

Compulsory modules

Advanced language module in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Advanced Project Work in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Dissertation in Scandinavian Studies

Optional modules

You will select 2.0 credits of optional modules. Options may include:

Advanced Old Norse
Intermediate Finnish Language 2
Intermediate Modern Icelandic
Nordic Cinema
Nordic Landscapes
Nordic Politics and Society
The Nordic Welfare States
Reading Finnish Society and Culture
Scandinavian Social Democracy
Translation from the Scandinavian Languages
The Vikings in Europe
SELCS Advanced Level modules

Your learning

Teaching consists of a mixture of lectures, classes, seminars, group work and presentations. Language elements comprise four taught hours a week for basic language in year one, four hours a week for intermediate language in year two, and two hours a week for advanced language in the final year. Much of your work will be through guided independent study. Language teaching is generally undertaken by native speakers.


Most modules are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written examination. A few are assessed by essays only. Language modules are assessed by coursework, a written and an oral examination. During your year abroad, you will take modules at the host university and will complete a Year Abroad Project.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Scandinavian Studies BA.


Upon graduation you will be fluent in your chosen language, and have a reading knowledge of other Scandinavian languages. Historical and literary studies will develop cultural awareness, and you will be trained in organising, presenting and interpreting complex information, in effective written and oral communication, and in independent and group work.

Many of our graduates find they are able to use their Scandinavian languages in a variety of contexts, such as working for a Scandinavian company. Recent graduates have also entered translating, publishing and teaching.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2011-2014) of this programme, and of related Scandinavian Studies programmes, include:

  • Full-time student, MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge
  • Intern, British Embassy

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.

UK/EU students
£TBC (2017/18 - see below)
Overseas students
£17,710 (2017/18)

UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at 9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

Your personal statement should reflect your interests, hopes and goals, especially as related to your proposed degree. Some knowledge/experience of Scandinavian culture, and an explanation of how this has motivated you to learn more, is expected. We do not necessarily require a language at A level or equivalent, but expect you to demonstrate an enthusiasm and aptitude for language learning.

Please indicate your chosen language (if known) in the Further Details section of the UCAS form.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2017


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, then we shall invite you to a post-offer Open Day, where you can experience the sort of teaching which we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainment as well as cultural awareness, motivation for study and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students

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